Stacey Campbell staceycampbell@yahoo.com
The Life of William H.C. Griffin (1898-1918)

Contents

A Note on Sources
This is a biography of my paternal grandmother's brother, William Henry Charles Griffin.
  • The vast majority of documentation of William's life and death comes from his AIF military file as well as military histories of his battalion, regiment, and division.
  • Some family oral history has passed down the generations.
  • I have also added some (hopefully informed) thoughts.

Family oral histories are notoriously unreliable, so I've only included narratives I've heard from multiple family members, or narratives that align with available documentation. If you are a family member with additional (possibly conflicting!) stories or documents I'd be happy to hear from you. My email address is above.

Early years

Griffin Family, about 1906.
Griffin Family around 1910, likely taken at 23 Sheffield St, Coburg: (lr) Evelina, Daisy Violet Victoria, Valerie Amelia (infant), Rachel Louisa Griffin (nee Cooper), Florence Ada, William Henry Charles, James Morris. Not pictured are William Sr (no picture exists?), Lillian May (living away from home?), and Ivy May (born later).
William Henry Charles ("Will") Griffin was born 26 September 1898 in South Melbourne. His father, also William, was 48 years old on that day, his mother Rachel was 25. Will was the first-born son.

The family frequently moved addresses through Will's childhood and teen years. They are recorded as living in North Melbourne in 1906, Coburg in 1909, Brunswick in 1914, and Clifton Hill in 1915.[1]

Family oral history records that Will's father was a deeply religious man, that the family was very poor and were frequently evicted for failure to pay the rent, and that Will's father likely struggled with mental illness.

Even though Will was the oldest of the Griffin sons, he did have an older "brother figure" in his life. Around 1908-1909 Rachel took in a boarder by the name of George Stap. George was born in 1890 and was around 19 years old when he moved in with the Griffin family. George had experienced difficult childhood and teen years. His father moved from Melbourne to Perth when George was very young, and George was reported as living in a charity home in Perth when he was 7.[2] His mother died in Fremantle in 1906. George, his father, and George's brother moved back to Melbourne shortly after.

George enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 20 January 1915. He initially named his father as his next-of-kin, however his father died a month later, so he then nominated Rachel as his next-of-kin. He listed Rachel's relationship to him as "foster-mother". He was assigned to the 8th Battalion and after training and transport, landed at Anzac Cove on 17 July 1915 to join the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign.[3]

After the Gallipoli evacuation in December 1915, the 8th Battalion was transferred to France. George was wounded several times and returned to his unit. He also received additional machine gun training in England. On 10 January 1918 George was promoted to corporal, and on 22 August 1918 he was promoted to sergeant.[3]

I suspect George was corresponding with Rachel and the rest of the Griffins during his deployments in Turkey and France. As an important figure in the family, and as a much-lionized ANZAC, I believe George indirectly, but very strongly, influenced William's desire to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).

It should be noted that Rachel had given birth to George's daughter on 12 June 1912.

Compulsory Universal Training

Family oral history doesn't offer any information about Will's childhood and teenage years though some can be gleaned from his later military records. Will attended Clifton Hill School, and his trade was iron worker.

On 1 January 1911, the Commonwealth Defence Act was passed. It required all males aged 12 to 26 to receive military training. Men were divided according to age, with junior cadets comprising boys 12-13 years of age, senior cadets comprising boys 14-17, and young men aged 18-26 assigned to the home militia defence. Absenteeism and shirking were widespread. Many boys were brought before the courts, including the Children's Court.

Will was not a shirker, he attended mandatory drills with the Collingwood Senior Cadets, 55A Battalion of the Citizens Forces.[4] 55A was occasionally mentioned in the papers, providing drill demonstrations at public events around Collingwood.

First attempt to enlist

W.H.C. Griffin's first attempt to enlist underage and without consent.
AIF record of W.H.C. Griffin's first attempt to enlist underage and without parental consent.[6]
On 13 November 1915, at age 17 years, 1 month, 19 days, Will attempted to enlist in the AIF. The AIF required enlistees to be at least age 18. All enlistees under the age of 21 were required to provide consent letters from their parents. All enlistees also had to pass the medical requirements.

Will passed the medical examination, however in purple pencil at the top of the form is the notation:

Nov 22nd Consent Req
Description on enlistment:
  • Age 18 years 2 months.
  • Height 5 feet 4 3⁄4 inches.
  • Chest Measurement 32/34 inches.
  • Complexion Fresh.
  • Eyes Hazel
  • Hair D. Brown
  • Religious Denomination Pres.
  • Distinctive Marks: Vac. Nil, Broken R. Arm badly knitted together.
Will was rejected because he did not provide the mandatory parental consent letter.[6]

Will lied about his age presumably to "get in the fight". The Gallipoli Campaign was underway, but the AIF was trapped in a deadly stalemate. In late 1915 Australian newspapers were full of stories of what was clearly turning into a military disaster. Many of these stories cast the fight as a gallant adventure and the ANZACs as stoic heroes.

Successful enlistment

On 25 August 1917, at age 18 years, 11 months, Will successfully enlisted. Will presented a letter purporting to give the mandatory parental consent, passed the physical (again), and was assigned to the 23rd Battalion as part of the 20th Reinforcements.[4]
Parent consent letter from enlistment form.
Parents' consent letter attached to W.H.C. Griffin's enlistment form. Rachel refused to give her consent, so that part of the letter was written by Will's sister, Evelina. Evelina's granddaughter has confirmed that this is Evelina's handwriting.

Family oral history records that Will was unable to obtain his mother's consent to enlist. Will asked his younger sister, Evelina, to write the consent letter and sign it with their mother's name. The consent letter is scanned as part of Will's AIF record and is available at the National Archives of Australia. A family member has confirmed that the section of the consent letter signed "Rachel Griffin" is in Evelina's handwriting.

Will's father's consent appears first. If Will had his sister's forged consent appear first his father would have no doubt noticed his daughter's handwriting when giving his own consent.

Dear Sir
Seeing my Son desires to enlist
I am willing to give my consent
Yours Respectfully
William Griffin

Dear Sir
Seeing my Son Desires to enlist
I am willing to give my consent

Yours Respectfully
Rachel Griffin
I certify the above are my parents
signatures and consent
William Griffin
Given Will's previous attempt to enlist underage, I assume he would have wanted to enlist again exactly on his 18th birthday. The gap between his birthday and enlistment date is because he would have been attempting to persuade his mother, Rachel, to give consent, and when that failed, he began pressuring one of his sisters.

By late 1917 Rachel had likely been informed of George's brushes with death in Turkey and France, both through official notifications from the Australian Army, and from reading newspapers. This is most certainly why she refused to consent to her son being exposed to those dangers.

Note that the consent letter above was scanned over the official enlistment form. That form required both parents to be present at the enlistment to sign the form. If both parents could not be present then the recruit had to supply an explanation for their absence. At the time of Will's enlistment the AIF was not able to recruit enough men to replace the enormous number of Australian casualties in France, so AIF recruiters may have been cutting corners by allowing this letter with the explanation section of the form left blank.

23rd Battalion, 20th Reinforcements

William Henry Charles Griffin, Acting Lance Corporal, England 1918.
Acting Lance Corporal W.H.C. Griffin at Fovant, England, March 1918.
Will underwent brief training at the AIF camp in Broadmeadows and on 21 November 1917 embarked on the "Nestor" for Egypt. The "Nestor" arrived in Egypt on 5 January 1918. Will had additional training at an Australian Army camp just outside Alexandria. From there he embarked on the "Abbessiah" for England, disembarking at Southampton on 23 January 1918.[4]

In England Will had one last round of training at the AIF camp at Fovant, Wiltshire. On 24 March 2018 he was briefly promoted to Acting Lance Corporal. Will had his portrait taken at this time, and this is in the possession of his family.

On "march out" to France, Will reverted back to Private. He arrived at the AIF base in Etaples in France with the other 20th Reinforcements on 17 April 1918. Will joined the 23rd Battalion 10 days later on 27 April 1918.[4]

Combat

AIF records of soldiers contain information on transfers, transport, wounds, illness, promotions, demotions, discipline, and death. Will's AIF record contains no further entries from when he was "T.O.S" (Taken on Strength) with the 23rd Battalion on 27 April until he received what would be fatal injuries on 4 October 1918. Will survived a total of 162 days on the Western Front.[4]

The 23rd Battalion was one of 4 battalions in the 6th Brigade of the Australian Army. The 6th Brigade was one of the three brigades in the 2nd Division. At various times brigades could be temporarily under the command of different divisions. It's possible to trace Will's combat history by examining the history of his battalion, brigade, and division.

Will likely first saw combat on 19 May 1918 when the 23rd Battalion was part of the attack and capture of the village of Ville-sur-Ancre from the German Army. The 6th Brigade suffered 418 casualties in that action. Next came the Battle of Hamel on 4 July. The attack was planned and commanded by Lieutenant General John Monash, commander of the Australian Corps. The 2nd Division troops (temporarily attached to the Australian 4th Division) suffered 246 casualties in that action. In mid to late July ongoing operations saw the 23rd Battalion exposed to gas bombardment on several occasions. These bombardments resulted in hundreds of casualties.

At the start of August the Australian 2nd Division was involved in what became known as the Hundred Days Offensive. This series of actions would lead to the rapid collapse of the Hindenburg Line and the end of the war.

Between 16 and 18 August, another peaceful penetration operation was carried out by the 6th Brigade (then the only unit of the 2nd Division on the front line) around Herleville, culminating in an attack on 18 August to the edge of Herleville itself. By this stage the 6th Brigade had been heavily depleted particularly from gas shelling around Villers-Bretonneux.

From 31 August through 3 September 1918 the 6th Brigade was involved in the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin. The 23rd engaged in heavy fighting during this action. The Australians suffered 3,000 casualties at Mont Saint-Quentin. After this battle the 2nd Division was rested through to late September.

End of the Great War approaches

Monash receiving his KCB from George V.
Monash receiving his KCB from George V on 12 August 1918.[12]
In late September 1918 it was becoming clear the war would end soon with an Allied victory. It was also becoming clear that Australia's involvement would be ending even sooner.
  • The Hundred Day Offensive collapsed the heavily fortified Hindenburg Line. German soldiers were surrendering by the thousands and their front line was retreating kilometers every day. On 29 September 1918 Emperor Wilhelm II was informed that the war was no longer winnable.
  • 6th Brigade was first deployed at Gallipoli in September 1915. Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes was demanding that soldiers who had four years of service be given six month's leave. By the end of September 800 men who had enlisted in 1914 had already taken that leave, and thousands more were becoming eligible.
  • Further, Hughes had asked military leadership to have all Australians withdrawn from the line for leave by mid-October
  • Through 1918 recruiting in Australia had been unable to match the rate at which Australia was losing men on the Western Front. All battalions were exhausted and under-strength, and unsuccessful attempts were made to eliminate some battalions and reorganize those men into full-strength battalions.
  • Monash and Billy Hughes surrounded by officers and reporters.
    PM Billy Hughes travelled to France and met with Monash and members of the Australian forces. This image of Monash, various officers, Hughes, and at least one reporter was captured 14 September 1918 at Brie, about 35km west of Montbrehain, and one month before Will died.[12]
  • Australian conscription plebiscites promoted by Hughes had been held in 1916 and 1917 and both failed.
  • Even though the United States had entered the war in 1917, American troops did not see major combat on the Western Front until 28 May 1918. America rapidly ramped up the number of troops available to the Allies in the following months. Ultimately over 4 million US troops served in uniform. These fresh troops were planned to relieve the exhausted Australians. The Australians of the 6th Brigade were to be relieved by 5 October, however the Americans were delayed by one day.
  • German leadership began discussing armistice and on 5 October 1918 a message was sent to Woodrow Wilson to negotiate the terms.
  • Other Central Powers belligerents had either surrendered (Bulgaria) or were discussing surrender (Turkey).

Monash orders attack on Montbrehain

With the Americans delayed by a day, British Fourth Army Commander Rawlinson requested that Monash hold the line one additional day with the exhausted 2nd Division. Monash decided to use that day to capture the village of Montbrehain using the 6th Brigade.[7] page 278 To reinforce the undermanned 6th, Monash added the Australian 2nd Pioneer Battalion as infantry instead of their typical engineering role. The attack on Montbrehain was hastily planned for 5 October 1918.

Will's 23rd Battalion was assigned to protect the left flank of the two 6th Brigade battalions that were to take Montbrehain directly (the 24th and 21st, with additional support from the 2nd Pioneer Battalion). The 23rd fought their way towards a position just to the north-west of Montbrehain starting on 4 October. They were to hold that position and protect the left flank until relieved by the incoming 30th American Division on 6 October.[8]

Members of the 2nd Division Army Medical Corps unloading an ambulance at Templeux-Le-Guérard.
Unidentified soldiers, probably members of the 2nd Division Army Medical Corps (5th Field Ambulance), unloading serious cases from a motor ambulance car for removal to the Australian Dressing Room at Templeux-Le-Guérard.

[A high-resolution copy of this photo is available at the Australian War Memorial archive.]

On 4 October, when moving into their position, the 23rd Battalion encountered intense machine gun fire, and at one point withdrew so Allied artillery could place a barrage on a shallow German trench system near the road between Montbrehain and Beaurevoir.[8] At an unknown time during these operations William was seriously wounded.

On 5 October William was evacuated back to the 5th Australian Field Ambulance station at 2nd Division HQ just outside the village of Templeux-le-Guérard.[4] That was a distance of about 16 km. 5th Ambulance reports from the previous day indicate the journey took about four to five hours.[10] William died of his wounds the same day. He was buried at a small military cemetery just outside Templeux-le-Guérard.

Based on when William was transported I would guess he was wounded late on 4 October, possibly after dark, and was evacuated via ambulance very early the following morning.

In the last 100 years there have been many analyses of what would be the final infantry engagement for Australians in WWI. Charles Bean, Australia's official war correspondent, who observed the battle and had closely followed Australian units throughout the war wrote the following in the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918.

Drawing of the front line after Montbrehain showing the salient created by the action.
Monash's post-war publication The Australian Victories in France in 1918 showing the salient he created with the attack on Montbrehain.[7]
The taking of Montbrehain was the last and one of the most brilliant actions of Australian infantry in the First World War. Yet--as with many local attacks--it is difficult to feel that it was wisely undertaken; it seemed, rather, devised to make some use of these troops before withdrawing them in accordance with the Prime Minister's demand. They gave the enemy a sharp knock and took nearly 400 prisoners; and their line now stood out egg-shaped a mile ahead of the general front. But they did not capture one hostile [artillery] battery or "let the cavalry through," [allow cavalry to exploit a breach in the line to attack enemy rear positions] nor were they intended to do so. The action cost some 30 officers and 400 men. Ten officers, among them some of the best leaders in the 6th Brigade, and many of the best N.C.O's and men, had been killed. At such cost, at this stage of the war, Australian troops could have achieved far-reaching results in any general attack.[8]
By "egg-shaped", Bean is referring to the strategically undesirable salient (or bulge) that Monash's Montbrehain action created in the line. William was protecting the left flank of this salient when he was wounded.

In his contemporaneous diary of the war, Bean was more blunt:

Our troops have come out of the line, after the last stupid wicked fight at Montbrehain where Mahoney of the 24th and other grand men fell for no reason except to increase the reputation of a division and of a general [Monash].[9]

Next of Kin

I haven't been able to find clear documentation on when Rachel was notified her son had died. The time between an Australian casualty and NoK notification seemed to vary depending on rank and the number of casualties in the action. Reports of the battle appeared in Australian newspapers on 8 October so Rachel likely received a telegram or hand-delivered letter (transcribed from a telegram) within two weeks.

As was standard at the time, William had completed and signed his Will while he was in Broadmeadows recruit camp the previous year.

In the event of my death I give the whole of my property and effects to my Mother Mrs Rachel Griffin.

Ella Grove
Chelsea
Victoria[4]

NOK notification letter from the Red Cross.
NOK notification letter from the Red Cross, kindly provided by Florence ("Doll") Griffin's daughter, Bev Smith.
As the months and years ticked by after Will's death, Rachel and William Sr would receive various letters and packages from the Australian Military regarding Will's service and death. Rachel was living in Clifton Hill and William Sr had moved to a cottage in Warburton near the Seventh Day Adventist colony.[4] George Stap arrived back from France on 1 February 1919 on the "Argyllshire" and resumed living with Rachel.

In March 1919 Rachel received a reply from the Red Cross answering her query about the location of Will's grave. The Red Cross provided families fairly detailed information, including injuries, locations of soldiers undergoing medical treatment, and in the case of fatalities as much information as could be gathered about the soldier's service and how they died.

Will's letter is lacking details about his service, possibly because the war had ended and his fellow 23rd Battalion soldiers were demobilising. The Honorable Secretary of the Victorian Red Cross, J. Beacham Kiddle, signed his correspondence with a rubber stamp due to the impracticability of hand-signing the thousands of these letters that were sent out to next-of-kin.

William Henry Charles Griffin's Memorial Plaque
Memorial Plaque for Will's next of kin. Rachel signed for this on 19 April 1923.[4] These objects were informally known as a Dead Man's Penny, or Widow's Penny.

I would guess this object was not welcome in Rachel's home. It was found 100 years after William's death in a pile of scrap metal in Newcastle, New South Wales. The finder, Sabina Dryden of Lucky's Scrap Metals, kindly tracked down a relative of Will's and mailed the plaquette.

Rachel received Will's personal belongings in a mailed parcel in July 1919.[4] They were:

  • Letters
  • Wrist watch (broken) and strap
  • Disc
  • Pocket knife
  • 25 foreign coins
  • Wallet
  • Photos
  • Cards
  • 2 metal rings
  • Purse
  • Religious medallion
  • Metal chain
  • 2 keys
Also in July 1919 three photos of Will's grave were mailed along with a booklet explaining the care the authorities were taking with the graves of Australian fatalities. A memorial scroll was mailed to William Sr that month too. Will was awarded two medals posthumously. The British War Medal was received by William Sr in May 1921. William Sr returned the medal with a note requesting it instead be sent to Rachel in Clifton Hill.[4]

In November 1922 a Memorial Plaque was shipped to Rachel. She signed the receipt for it on 19 April 1923. The next-of-kin of all British Commonwealth fatalities received this very large bronze "plaquette".[4]

Rachel received Will's Victory Medal in May 1923.[4] The Victory Medal and British War Medal were awarded to all members of the AIF who served in France.

Aftermath

I suspect Rachel was rightfully inconsolable when she was notified of Will's death, and (perhaps less justifiably) furious with Evelina who was 16 when her older brother pressured her into forging their mother's consent.

Rachel and Will's siblings placed notices in the 'In Memoriam, on active service' section of Family Notices in The Age on 5 October for several years. In 1919:

GRIFFIN. — In sad and loving memory of my dear brother, Will, who died of wounds 5th October, 1918.
We are thinking of you to-day, dear Will,
We are thinking of the past;
We picture you in memory
Just as we saw you last.
No more your welcome footsteps
Will tread on our dwelling floor;
No more we'll watch your coming.
As we did in days of yore.
Fond remembrance of the past,
Will always bring regret,
Until our lives will cease to be
We never will forget.
—Inserted by his loving sisters and brother-in-law, Lena, Dolly, Tom Chesswas, 97 Hodgkinson-street, Clifton Hill.
Though Evelina was single she was no longer living with her mother, but rather with her sister and brother-in-law, Florence ("Doll") and Thomas Chesswas.

Rachel also placed a notice in 1919.

GRIFFIN.--In sad and loving memory of my dear son, Private W. H. C. Griffin, C Company, 23 Battalion, killed in action on 5th October, 1918 at Mont. St. Quentin.
When alone in my grief the bitter tears flow,
There comes a sweet vision of not long ago;
Like in a dream he stands by my side,
And whispers in sweet words, Don't cry.
Could I, his mother, have clasped his hand,
The son I loved so well;
I loved him in life, he is dear to me still;
But in grief I must bow to God's holy will;
My sorrow is great, my loss hard to bear,
But angels will tend my dear Willie with care.
--Inserted by his loving mother, Mrs. W. R. Griffin, Chelsea.
It's notable that family members were unaware Will had been killed as part of the AIF attack at Montbrehain. Lack of accurate information from the Australian Military was no doubt responsible for this confusion. The family may have seen that many of the other notices posted on 5 October over the following years were for AIF soldiers killed at Montbrehain in 1918.

Evelina

Wedding portrait of Evelina Griffin and Eric Phillips.
Wedding portrait of Evelina Griffin and Eric Phillips, December 1921.
Evelina would later marry an AIF veteran of the Great War. Eric William Phillips had been discharged from Langwarrin recruit camp in 1917 for medical and misconduct reasons.[5] If he had not been discharged he would have been assigned to the 23rd Battalion as part of the 19th reinforcements, and if he had survived through to May 1918, Eric would likely have met Will.

[Due to multiple enlistments, extensive medical reports (Eric arrived at Langwarrin with gonorrhea, which was "cured" by the time he was discharged), and several disciplinary actions, Eric's AIF record is one of the longest I've seen at 74 pages.]

When the AIF was scrambling for recruits in August 1917 they allowed Eric to re-enlist, though they were aware of his earlier conduct and medical discharge from recruit camp. Eric was assigned to the 21st Battalion. He was transported to Egypt on the same "Nestor" sailing as Will, and like Will, his battalion was part of the 6th Brigade attack on Montbrehain.[5] Eric would have been just outside Montbrehain on 4 October 1918, a few kilometers south of the 23rd Battalion when Will was wounded.

I don't know if Will and Eric met. Their respective battalions were both part of the 6th Brigade, and they did sail to Egypt on the same transport, so it's possible.

Evelina married Eric 21 December 1921 in Collingwood. Their son Neville was born in January 1923. Tragically Neville died in an accident 15 November 1924. Eric, who had ongoing kidney disease likely caused by his earlier gonorrhea infection, died on 20 October 1927 of kidney failure. Evelina was 26 years old and had lost both her son and husband.

Family oral history records that Evelina did not get along with her mother, Rachel, and would not have been happy or welcome living at Rachel and George's house in Ormond.[1]

Wedding portrait of Norman Campbell and Evelina Phillips.
Wedding portrait of Norman Campbell and Evelina Phillips, July 1929.
Evelina met Norman McLean Campbell in 1928. She was living in Meeniyan, a small town in Gippsland, with Eric's father and at least one of Eric's brothers.[1] Norman had travelled down from Lockhart in New South Wales and was visiting his cousin who also lived in Meeniyan.

Norman and Evelina were my paternal grandparents.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The following people and organisations provided information for this page:

Additional images

Letter to Doll from France, 3 May 1918.
Page 1 of Will's letter to his sister Doll (Florence May Griffin). Written on 3 May 1918 after Will had joined the 23rd Battalion in France, but before his first combat.
Letter to Doll from France, 3 May 1918.
Overleaf, page 2 of Will's letter to his sister Doll.

Scan courtesy of Bev Smith.

Undated postcard from Will to his mother, Rachel.
Back side of undated postcard from Will to his mother, Rachel.
Dear Mother,
I wish this card to be set apart from the others for it was given to me by one of my mates who was mortally wounded 10 minutes after he gave it to me. Will
Undated postcard from Will to his mother, Rachel.
Front side of the same undated postcard from Will to his mother, Rachel.

Scan courtesy of my cousin Fiona.

I have been struggling to understand why Will thought it was appropriate that his mother should ever see what he has written on this postcard.

Montbrehain Mairie or town hall.
The Mairie (town hall) in Montbrehain has a small plaque memorialising the AIF fatalities. It's visible between the two windows on the lower left.
Memorial plaque outside the Montbrehain mairie.
Close-up of the memorial plaque that was dedicated on 5 October 2018, exactly 100 years after the Battle of Montbrehain. Note that even though all battalions of the 6th Brigade were involved in combat on that day, fatalities from Will's 23rd and the 22nd Battalion are not mentioned. The 22nd was also involved in heavy combat protecting the left flank of the main assault on Montbrehain. Without the actions of the 22nd and 23rd the list on this plaque would have been much longer.
Narrow farm lane leading to the Templeux-Le-Guérard Communal Cemetery Extension gate
The narrow farm lane leading to the Templeux-Le-Guérard Communal Cemetery Extension gate. Note the canola fields on either side. There is a small area to turn around just after the end of the cemetery wall.
The Templeux-Le-Guérard Communal Cemetery Extension gate
The gate to the cemetery. The portion of the cemetery closest to the laneway has (some recent) graves of civilians.
The Templeux-Le-Guérard Communal Cemetery Extension overlook
A grassy path leads down to the small military section of the cemetery. The cemetery is located next to a field which was ploughed when I was there in April 2024.

There is a large metal plaque near the bottom of the steps that briefly describes the burials and says "This cemetery was constructed and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission".

Grave of William Henry Charles Griffin
Will's grave. The headstone reads:

6844/A PRIVATE
W.H.C. GRIFFIN
23RD BN AUSTRALIAN INF.
5TH OCTOBER 1918